Legislature(2003 - 2004)

2003-03-12 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2003-03-12                     Senate Journal                      Page 0473
SB 143                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 143 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                   
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                               
          "An Act relating to the Alaska coastal management                                         
          program and to policies and procedures for                                                
          consistency reviews and the rendering of consistency                                      
          determinations under that program; relating to the                                        
          functions of coastal resource service areas; creating                                     
          an Alaska Coastal Program Evaluation Council;                                             
          eliminating the Alaska Coastal Policy Council;                                            
          annulling certain regulations relating to the Alaska                                      
          coastal management program; relating to actions                                           
          based on private nuisance; relating to zoning within a                                    
          third class borough covered by the Alaska coastal                                         
          management program; and providing for effective                                           
was read the first time and referred to the Resources Committee.                                    
The following fiscal information was published today:                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 1, zero, Department of Fish and Game                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 2, zero, Department  of  Environmental                                             
 Fiscal Note No. 3, Department of Natural Resources                                                 
Governor's transmittal letter dated March 11:                                                       

2003-03-12                     Senate Journal                      Page 0474
Dear President Therriault:                                                                          
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am                          
transmitting a bill to reform and streamline the Alaska Coastal                                     
Management Program (ACMP). This legislation is premised upon the                                    
statutory changes contained in Executive Order 106, which I presented                               
to you on February 12, 2003. Executive Order 106 would transfer                                     
responsibility for the ACMP program from the division of                                            
governmental coordination in the office of management and budget to                                 
the Department of Natural Resources.                                                                
The Alaska Coastal Management Program was first enacted in 1977 in                                  
order to participate in the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of                                  
1972. The federal program is voluntary, and encourages states to adopt                              
coastal programs by providing federal funds and the opportunity for                                 
federal consistency review. Federal consistency review enables the                                  
state to apply its authorities to projects located on federal land and the                          
federal outer continental shelf where otherwise it would be preempted                               
by federal law.                                                                                     
The goal of this legislation is to create a new coastal management                                  
program that retains the benefits of the federal act but eliminates the                             
duplication and complexity built into the present ACMP. This bill                                   
would achieve this goal by choosing the simplest of the three                                       
management techniques allowed by the federal act. The bill provides                                 
certainty and predictability to the ACMP process by clarifying the                                  
standards and responsibilities for program implementation.                                          
The central streamlining concept of the bill is the reliance on existing                            
state statutes and regulations as the enforceable policies of the ACMP.                             
The current duplicative consistency review process in AS 46.40.096                                  
and 6 AAC 50 is eliminated by simply relying on the issuance of                                     
current state permits by the resource agencies as the means of                                      
determining whether an activity is consistent with the ACMP.                                        
The bill would eliminate district coastal management enforceable                                    
policies but retains a local role in three ways. First, AS 29                                       
municipalities would retain their existing land use authorities to                                  
regulate private activity within their jurisdiction. Second, the bill                               
authorizes the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), as the                                        

2003-03-12                     Senate Journal                      Page 0475
implementing agency, to adopt local ordinances as enforceable                                       
policies to be applied in consistency reviews of federal projects and                               
Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) development. The DNR would consult                                    
with the local government when interpreting and applying the local                                  
ordinance as part of a consistency review. Third, the bill would                                    
specifically adopt certain existing coastal district policies for federal                           
OCS development as state enforceable policies.                                                      
Coastal resource service areas in the unorganized borough would no                                  
longer exist. However, municipalities within the unorganized borough                                
could participate in both the funding and regulatory aspects of the                                 
program. Because the bill would affect the way coastal communities                                  
participate in the program, I have consulted with communities across                                
the state and incorporated their suggestions into the legislation.                                  
The bill would also eliminate the Coastal Policy Council, but would                                 
create a Coastal Program Evaluation Council to submit a report to the                               
Governor on the implementation of these reforms. The council would                                  
sunset July 1, 2005.                                                                                
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                            
Frank H. Murkowski